Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

By Rob Borkowski

WARWICK, RI  — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced  the Warwick Fire Department will receive a $633,789 grant for a new rescue truck, part of $1,113,758 in federal funding awarded to the city, Little Compton, North Kingstown, and Woonsocket.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced the grants for Warwick’s new truck and to help North Kingstown, Little Compton, and Woonsocket fire departments upgrade essential equipment.

The federal funds were awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, according to an announcement from Sen. Jack Reed’s office.  AFG grants are designed to supply critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect local communities.  Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation helped include a total of $350 million for AFG firefighter equipment grants in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law.

The WFD will purchase a new, tandem-axle heavy duty rescue vehicle that will replace a dated, 26-year-old medium duty model that responded to over 1,600 incidents in 2016 alone.  The new heavy duty vehicle will help firefighters with extrications, large vehicle stabilization, Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical response, surface and shoreline water rescue, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and structural firefighting.

The North Kingstown Fire Department will use its $268,605 grant to replace its outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) currently in use by firefighters.  The purchase includes new SCBA units, SCBA bottles, and face pieces.  The equipment will be used by firefighters during emergency response situations to ensure safe breathing amid fires and other situations involving toxic air quality.

The Little Compton Fire Department is receiving a regional $211,364 grant alongside the Woonsocket Fire Department to purchase new power cots, which are battery operated stretchers capable of lifting very heavy patients, incorporated with a hydraulic lift system that loads/unloads the power cot from the ambulance.  The goal of the purchase is to reduce injuries to the department’s firefighter/EMTs, increase the safety of patients by decreasing cot drop incidents, and enhance the department’s operability throughout the region.

“It is critical that our firefighters possess quality tools that are suitable to meet the grueling demands of their profession,” said Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “These highly competitive federal grants will help protect the health and safety of our first responders and the communities they serve.”

“I am very grateful to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin for their hard work to secure us the funding for this very necessary apparatus,” said Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon.  “The safety and well-being of all who live and work in our community and who travel through Warwick each year is of paramount importance to me and our public safety officials.  This heavy-duty rescue vehicle will further ensure that we are able to respond to any crisis quickly and effectively. We are very fortunate to have a Congressional delegation that advocates so strongly for Rhode Island’s emergency responders and work tirelessly for our communities. I look forward to their continued support in the future for similar efforts to assure the ongoing safety of T.F. Green International Airport’s travelers and our community overall. ”

“Our emergency responders deserve access to the best equipment possible so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. This funding will not only benefit our firefighters, but all Rhode Islanders,”  said Cicilline.

“These federal funds will help enhance public safety, improve emergency response capabilities, and provide our firefighters with the resources and equipment they need,” said Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding.  “I am grateful to our firefighters for the life-saving work they do and I will continue working hard at the federal level to support them and help them get the job done safely and effectively.”

“These grants will help equip our first responders with cutting-edge gear to do their job safely and effectively,” said Whitehouse.  “We’re grateful for everything they do to keep our communities safe.”

Warwick Post: Langevin Presents Medals To Seven Veterans Including Warwick’s DePetrillo

Warwick Post: Langevin Presents Medals To Seven Veterans Including Warwick’s DePetrillo

By Rob Borkowski

WEST WARWICK  — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), hosted a military medals presentation and veterans town hall meeting at VFW Post 449 in West Warwick Tuesday at noon, honoring seven veterans with medals for their service decades after the conflicts they helped fight ended, including Paul DePetrillo of Warwick, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

Langevin presented DePetrillo, 69, a Specialist Fourth Grade in the U.S. Army, Korean Defense,  with five medals:  Army Achievement Medal with Bronze Star Attachment; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Expert Badge and Rifle Bar and Korea Defense Service Medal.

“It is a great honor to commemorate these Rhode Island veterans who have served with distinction and  integrity and dedicated so much to the safety and security of our nation,” said Langevin.  “One of my most important duties as a member of Congress is providing our service members and veterans with the support and recognition they deserve. I look forward to concluding my August listening tour with this mission in mind.”

Langevin also presented medals to six other veterans, four posthumously:

  • Private Adolf Ciummo, U.S. Army, WWII (Awarded Posthumously) Born on October 24, 1917 in Natick, RI
  • Corporal Frank Diana, U.S. Army, WWII (Awarded Posthumously) Born on September 20, 1912 in Providence, RI
  • Private First Class Carmine D. DiPippo, WWII U.S. Army (Awarded Posthumously)
Born on May 17, 1921 in Cranston, RI
  • Coxswain Axel Harold Halvarson, U.S. Navy, WWII (Awarded Posthumously)
Born on April 28, 1919 in Providence, RI
  • Sergeant John Boehnert, U.S. Army, Vietnam
, Born on Jan. 20, 1949 in Chicago, IL (resides in East Greenwich, RI)

The event is the first of several visits focused on military and veterans issues that Langevin is holding on Aug. 28 and Aug. 30 as part of the Langevin Listening Tour, an initiative Langevin has led through the August congressional district work period to collect feedback and gain insight from constituents.

“Rhode Island has a proud history of producing heroes,” said Kasin J. Yarn, the Director of Veteran’s Affairs for the State of Rhode Island. “Tomorrow’s ceremony is just another illustration of that. I applaud Congressman Langevin’s efforts to ensure these warriors and their families get the recognition they’ve earned and so thoroughly deserve,” Yarn said.

Federal Times: New bill looks to end Trump’s security clearance threats

Federal Times: New bill looks to end Trump’s security clearance threats

By Jessica Bur

Three House democrats introduced a bill Aug. 24 that would prevent President Donald Trump from revoking security clearances for political purposes.

“President Trump has shown an alarming tendency to attack members of our intelligence and law enforcement communities when he believes it will be to his political benefit. His recent decision and subsequent threats to revoke the clearances of current and former national security officials is an unconscionable abuse of power, and it underscores the need to protect this process from further political influence,” said bill cosponsor Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.

“This legislation takes important steps to ensure security clearance decisions are based solely on national security considerations, not political bias or retribution.”

Trump drew the censure of many members of the intelligence community and Congress after revoking the security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of the president, Aug. 15.

“Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance is petty and vindictive. The president has made a sport of using his broad authority to help his friends and attack his perceived enemies. That’s why safeguarding our security clearance process is critical — we have to prevent these kinds of abuses and provide proper recourse for those impacted,” said cosponsor Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

“Trump shouldn’t be playing games with our national security. I’m grateful to join Representatives Langevin and Schiff in introducing this bill, though I wish our president didn’t make it necessary.”

Trump also indicated that he was considering revoking the clearances of other frequent critics, including former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former national security advisor Susan Rice and former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

“President Trump has set a dangerous precedent by revoking or threatening to revoke the security clearances of current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials to punish his critics. For those who depend on a security clearance for their livelihood, this effort to create and impose potentially career ending consequences on individuals who appear on the president’s enemies list is unlawful and un-American,” said cosponsor Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca.

“In July, Speaker [Paul] Ryan suggested the president was simply ‘trolling’ in making threats — that is clearly not the case. The Congress must ensure that the process by which clearances are granted and revoked is governed by national security concerns, not politics or presidential temper tantrums.”

The text of the bill resembles an amendment to the fiscal year 2019 defense appropriations bill offered by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., earlier that week.

NewportRI.com: Newport to receive $24,500 to support fireboat

NewportRI.com: Newport to receive $24,500 to support fireboat

By NewportRI.com

NEWPORT, R.I. — The Fire Department will receive $24,500 for equipment, supplies and training for the catamaran fireboat it acquired in April with an earlier port security grant, according to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin.

Also announced was a $284,625 grant for the Bristol Fire Department to purchase a similar boat. The funds were distributed from the Port Security Grant Program, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Newport’s boat is named after former Fire Chief William H. Connerton Jr.

“The Port Security Grant will help us complete the outfitting of our new fire rescue boat,” Newport Fire Chief Brian Dugan said in the press release. “The grant will not only provide medical supplies and firefighting equipment, but will also supply our operators with foul weather gear and other safety equipment. In addition, the department will be able to purchase specialty equipment and supplies, such as oil boom and tackle, in order to address potential oil spills in the harbor and bay. I wish to thank captain Donald Gunning for developing the grant proposal, and thank Senator Reed and his staff for all their support in securing the grant.”

Since 2014, fire departments and other entities in Rhode Island have received nearly $1.75 million in Port Security grants.

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

By Anita Baffoni

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Cumberland, Saylesville, Smithfield, West Warwick, and Woonsocket Fire Departments will be the beneficiaries of a $3.8 million federal grant, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced Friday.  

The grant is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) SAFER Grant and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs.

The grant will go toward the hiring of 28 new firefighters and safety equipment among the five fire departments.

  • Cumberland Fire Department will use its $303,879 SAFER grant to hire two new firefighters
  • Saylesville Fire Department will use its $143,790 SAFER grant to hire one new firefighter
  • Smithfield Fire Department will use its $1,886,122 SAFER grant to hire 13 new firefighters
  • Woonsocket Fire Department will use its $1,535,130 SAFER grant to hire 12 new firefighters
  • West Warwick Fire Department will use its $6,819 AFG grant to purchase a thermal imaging camera

“These federal funds will help ensure fire departments are well-staffed and well-equipped,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said. “Adding these additional firefighters will improve the level of service and public safety,”

“Making sure our fire departments are equipped with enough personnel and the proper equipment is vital to the protection of our communities,” Congressman Jim Langevin added.

Since 2001, more than $38 million in AFG grants have been awarded to Rhode Island fire departments and nearly $43 million in SAFER grants since 2005, according to the delegation.

Nextgov: Critical Update- Cyber Leadership Has to Come from the Top

Nextgov: Critical Update- Cyber Leadership Has to Come from the Top

By Joseph Marks

The biggest problems in federal cybersecurity start at the top and fixes need to come from the top too, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., told Nextgov’s Critical Update podcast.

When Defense Secretary Ash Carter made cybersecurity a top Pentagon priority during the Obama administration, for example, Carter’s subordinates showed the same passion for the issue, said Langevin, who co-founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.

“You had everyone, all hands on deck, doing more to step up our cybersecurity at the Pentagon,” he said.

By 2018, among other cyber initiatives, the Defense Department had launched five bug bounty contests, which loose troves of ethical hackers to search for vulnerabilities in Pentagon computer systems.

When National Security Adviser John Bolton eliminated the position of White House cybersecurity coordinator in May, by contrast, it marked “an enormous step backward” for federal cyber efforts, Langevin said.

Among other things, the lack of a White House point person on cybersecurity prevents the administration from speaking with a clear and singular voice about issues such as Russian election meddling and foreign efforts to penetrate U.S. critical infrastructure, said Langevin, who has co-sponsored legislation to restore and elevate the cyber coordinator position.

“I’m very concerned about having a lack of coordination and oversight from the top,” he said.

Langevin has criticized President Donald Trump for failing to consistently acknowledge Russian government efforts to undermine the 2016 election and for acceding to the elimination of the cyber coordinator position, but he has also praised some Trump administration moves, such as appointing highly qualified Homeland Security cyber officials and continuing Obama-era cyber policies.

Going forward, Langevin said, he holds out hope the president will make cybersecurity a priority and urge his cabinet secretaries to do the same.

“The president would serve the government well by having his cabinet secretaries around the table and … asking what they’re doing to step up their game in preventing cyber vulnerabilities,” he said.

On the Ash Carter model, he said, more cabinet secretaries may then make cyber a priority “and their subordinates will make it happen.”

You can listen to the full episode [here] and subscribe through the Apple store or Google Play.

WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

By Miles Montgomery

WESTERLY, R.I. — Gov. Gina Raimondo, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Jr. joined the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly to celebrate the reopening of the Westerly Train Station Friday.

Following Amtrak’s change to online and mobile smartphone ticketing, the station was closed for the last two years. The new station features an indoor waiting area, access to restrooms while providing a new arts venue for the local Westerly community. The station will be closed Sunday to Tuesday but will open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“This project is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished through successful partnerships. The state, local community and the Artists’ Cooperative worked together on a solution that will provide a vital service to the public while expanding the cultural fabric of the community,” Raimondo said.

“It is great to see this historic train station being reopened to welcome travelers and art lovers alike. Instead of just a platform for passengers, it will serve as a platform for talented local artists to showcase their work in this unique setting,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Senator Reed is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development , who worked to provide record funding for Amtrak in 2018, some of which will help Westerly Train Station make needed improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This creative approach for reopening the Westerly Train Station provides a temporary home for the Artists’ Cooperative of Westerly, ensuring the public retains access to the works of local artists. I applaud the Gallery and RIDOT for working together to support Rhode Island’s art economy,” Langevin said.

“Westerly Station is an important part of our transit infrastructure,” Alviti said. “It is wonderful to see it come back to life with a new tenant. We appreciate the willingness of the Artists’ Cooperative to welcome Amtrak passengers. It creates a sense of vitality.”

Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly President Arlene Piacquadio said, “The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is pleased to join with RIDOT and the Ocean Community United Theater to unite our community through the arts with work of local artists displayed in the Westerly Train Station.”

The gallery is expected to remain in the station until renovations are completed on its former location, the United Theatre complex. The complex will be home to the gallery and will be the first satellite location of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School when the renovations are finished.

The Westerly station, owned by RIDOT, has served passengers since 1912 and provides service for Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains, including nine stops on weekdays and six stops on weekends.

RIPR: JAMES LANGEVIN – US HOUSE DISTRICT 2 – DEMOCRAT 2018

RIPR: JAMES LANGEVIN – US HOUSE DISTRICT 2 – DEMOCRAT 2018

By RIPR Staff

Editor’s note: these are the candidate’s responses to questions provided by RIPR. The views expressed are the candidate’s alone, edited only in cases of inappropriate or libelous language. No changes have been made to correct errors of fact, spelling or grammar. 

What are your positions on immigration reform?

We need comprehensive immigration reform in this country. That means improving security at our border, but it also means reforming and modernizing our visa system. We also need to address the undocumented members of our communities, particularly the Dreamers brought to this country through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, far from working toward comprehensive reform, the current Administration has embraced senseless – and at times heartless – policies including a border wall, a travel ban targeted at Muslims, and, most disturbingly, the separation of children from their families at the border.

Should the Affordable Care Act be repealed and replaced? If so, by what?

Americans need affordable, quality health care. The Affordable Care Act was not a perfect law, but it was a significant step toward expanding coverage for millions of Americans, including 100,000 Rhode Islanders.  However, many Rhode Islanders are seeing steep premium increases due to the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the law. That’s why I introduced the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act, a bill that would create a stabilization fund to increase competition among insurers and lower premiums. I hope to see more work on a bipartisan basis to advance solutions rather than overturn meaningful reforms, like protections for people with preexisting conditions, that have changed the lives of so many for the better.

Rhode Island was rated by CNBC as having among the worst infrastructure in the nation; Should transportation infrastructure be a more important issue in the US House’s next legislative session?

Rhode Island’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and modernization – especially our highway bridges, which are beaten down from extended use and corroded by storms. I am pleased the state is making this a priority, but we also need the federal government to pitch in more. That’s why I introduced the SAFE Bridges Act, which would direct up to $170 million in federal funds toward repairing Rhode Island’s bridges. I will continue to fight for funding that will enable our state to build the first-rate roads, bridges and public transit systems we need to support a 21st Century economy and allow Rhode Islanders to connect and travel safely and with ease.

How can Congress help solve the opioid crisis?

We must take a comprehensive approach to the opioid epidemic, including educating physicians about opioid prescribing practices, funding research that looks at alternative pathways and treatments to manage pain, and supporting programs that are the lifeline for those seeking treatment and recovery from addiction.  It’s also important to prevent these substances from arriving in our communities in the first place.  That’s why I’m pleased that my bill, the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act, passed the House of Representatives. The legislation creates a task force at the Department of Homeland Security to increase coordination within the Department and with public and private sector partners in order to stop the inflow of opioids before they cross our border. This public health emergency cannot be ignored, and Congress’ work is important to reducing the prevalence of addiction and overdose deaths in our communities.

What is your position on abortion and Roe v. Wade?

My pro-life stance is shaped by my personal experience of having come so close to losing my own life. However, I did not come to Congress to overturn Roe v Wade, and in this time of deep political divisiveness, any court ruling changing that precedent could tear deeply at the fabric of our nation. I believe we should work together to reduce unintended pregnancies by expanding access to reproductive health care, contraception, scientifically-based sexual education, and support services for new mothers.

Is flying unmanned drones in foreign airspace an acceptable method of eliminating terrorists?

I am honored to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees military drone programs. While unmanned aerial vehicles provide the United States with a great number of strategic advantages, we must ensure we use them responsibly and humanely. When drone strikes are carried out in accordance with US and international law, they can be an effective tool for combating terrorist groups like ISIL and stopping their deadly activities before they inflict more damage at home and abroad.

Should the US pull out of the Iran deal?

I was deeply disappointed that the President chose to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement provided for comprehensive monitoring by the international community, and there remains no evidence that Iran violated its commitments. Walking away from the deal abandons our allies, weakens our credibility, harms our ability to foster similar diplomatic agreements in the future, and undermines the central goal of the agreement – to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Withdrawing from this agreement threatens U.S. national security and international stability, and I believe the President should reverse his decision.

Should the US continue to give financial aid to Israel?

Israel is one of our closest allies and exists in a perilous region of the world. It is imperative that we continue to support its security and economy as a bastion of democracy in the Middle East. I have visited Israel several times, and I know that many Rhode Islanders also have close ties. I will continue to support efforts in Congress to strengthen these bonds, including my bill to enhance cooperative cybersecurity research and development.

ProJo: Citizens Bank unveils $285M Johnston campus, complete with robot security guard

ProJo: Citizens Bank unveils $285M Johnston campus, complete with robot security guard

By Brian Amaral

JOHNSTON, R.I. — Citizens Bank’s new, 425,000-square foot, $285-million campus here means a lot of things to a lot of people: jobs coming to town, a 20-year property-tax deal, walking trails open for public use where a landfill used to sit, two years of construction work, a chance for politicians to wield scissors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.

But to Anna Costa, a longtime Citizens employee who came to the event in a bedazzled green hat and green beads, it’s much more than even all that.

“It means a commitment to the community, and a commitment to us,” said Costa, a Lincoln resident who’s worked at Citizens for 23 years and started as a teller. “It’s going to feel like home.”

Costa was one of the hundreds of Citizens Bank employees who came out, clad in green, to watch the ceremonial opening of the new corporate campus. Company officials and local dignitaries said the new campus would be a boost for the town and the Rhode Island-based bank.

“This was going to be the largest construction project in Rhode Island in over a decade, so there was a lot at stake here, making sure we got this right,” CEO Bruce Van Saun told a group of employees and visitors.

The project, built on an old landfill off Route 295, took two years almost to the day from the groundbreaking to the ribbon-cutting, and very nearly was finished on budget, Van Saun said.

Within months, some 3,000 people will be working in Johnston, moving from other parts of the company, according to bank officials. Citizens’ headquarters will remain in Providence.

Of the new people who will be working in Johnston, about 800 will be call center employees moving in from space the company is currently renting. The design goes against the stereotypical image of a corporate call center: the windowless warren of cubicles, dimly lighted in fluorescence. No matter where anyone sits, said Keith Kelly, president of Citizens Bank Rhode Island, they won’t be more than 40 feet from a window.

“Creating a state-of-the-art facility like this will help perform and collaborate better,” Kelly said in an interview Monday.

The campus also features ball fields that local youth leagues will be able to play on, space to play bocce — Costa said she was going to challenge the mayor to a game — and a rain-collection system on the roof.

Any rain-collection system would have been put to use Tuesday: it rained on and off all morning, including a quick burst the exact moment that a group of politicians and bank officials snipped up portions of a Citizens Bank ribbon outside to applause.

Patrolling it all was the Knightscope K5, a robotic security guard resembling a portlier R2D2. It is equipped with cameras and can read license plates to make sure people don’t come onto the campus that aren’t supposed to, said Derek Lemire, senior physical security officer.

“It shows we’re forward-thinking,” Lemire said.

For the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Citizens pulled out all the stops: Groups of employees, whom the bank refers to as “colleagues,” waved and smiled to cars as they drove in. Local students marched and sang, and a local police honor guard took part.

The entire congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline — were there, as was Gov. Gina Raimondo.

“It’s a wonderful partnership,” said Raimondo, noting the bank’s two-century track record, “and we hope it continues for the next 200 years.”

The dignitaries lauded, in particular, Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena. Whitehouse referred to the site of the bank as the “wind-swept Mount Polisena.” Langevin noted that Polisena was always ready to talk turkey.

Polisena, for his part, said the development will change the town for the better.

“We all know they could have gone up the road to Taxachusetts — err, I mean, Massachusetts,” Polisena said to laughter.

The town approved a tax deal under which Citizens will pay $250,000 per year in property taxes per year. Especially compared to a big development with lots of housing units and lots of students, it was a good deal for the town, Polisena said.

“This place,” Polisena said, “will put Johnston on the map.”

NK Standard Times: Grant awarded for Quonset marine highway project

NK Standard Times: Grant awarded for Quonset marine highway project

By Alex Trubia

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI –  U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) this week announced an $855,200 federal grant for the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) to purchase new yard equipment that will assist the Port of Davisville with handling cargo and advancing a marine highway project.  The grant comes after Reed successfully worked to designate short sea shipping between Rhode Island, Brooklyn, and Newark as a marine highway project in March.

This new federal grant will provide the Port of Davisville with one reach stacker, four yard tractors, and four bomb carts, which will help to facilitate the movement of containers at the Port and provide added capability to make the Port’s short-sea shipping service more efficient and competitive while also providing a viable alternative for freight shipping.  According to Reed, the grant will also provide resources to help market this new service.

QDC Managing Director Steven King said the grant funding will accelerate the Port of Davisville by enabling the corporation to handle container shipping as “a means of moving goods” while expanding their capabilities in short-sea shipping.

“It will also help us to add to the hundreds of jobs here at the Port,” King added. “We want to thank Senator Reed for his leadership on this initiative, and to Red Hook Container Terminal for their partnership in making this Marine Highway Project a reality.”

Marine highways are navigable waterways that offer an alternative to the nation’s crowded highways and roads for moving freight or passengers.  Under the America’s Marine Highway program, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) periodically designates additional marine highway projects, offering new or expanded short sea shipping services and routes that have the potential to provide public benefits and long-term sustainability.

Being recognized by MARAD, the marine highway project will also receive preferential treatment for future federal grants and other assistance from DOT and MARAD.

As the ranking Democrat on the Senate Transportation-Hud Appropriations Subcommittee, Reed said the grant will help to establish a new marine shipping alternative on the Northeast Corridor, which “has the potential to create jobs and to relieve congestion and wear-and-tear on our highways.”

“It also creates competition for the movement of freight in the region, which could ultimately lower costs for businesses and consumers,” Reed added.  “I was pleased to work with my colleagues in the Rhode Island delegation to support Quonset’s application to purchase new equipment that will help get this service off the ground.”

The Port of Davisville, Brooklyn and Newark service is a proposed container-on-barge service that will be operated by SEACOR AMH, LLC and will include a dedicated run twice per week with up to 800 TEU containers.  This service will operate in the Block Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Long Island Sound, and East River.

Last March, Reed announced the project in Rhode Island alongside MARAD Administrator Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, marine workers, and business leaders during a tour and visit to discuss federal funding for small shipyards and new opportunities for Rhode Island businesses.

“I am pleased MARAD has approved Quonset’s Marine Highway designation.  The Marine Highway program is designed to expand the use of navigable waterways, relieve congestion, and reduce pollution,” Reed said in March. “This designation makes them eligible to apply for future federal Marine Highway grants.”

At that time, Reed also asked the rest of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation to join his letter to Administrator Buzby in support of QDC’s request for the funds.

“As the northern terminus of this service, the Port of Davisville combines port, rail, air, and ground transportation, is a top ten port in North America for vehicle imports, and is a gateway to markets throughout Southern New England,” the Congressional Delegation stated. “The added capability will make the short sea shipping service more efficient and competitive, providing a viable alternative for freight shipping along the congested 1-95 corridor.”

The letter was signed by Reed, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and U.S. Representatives David Cicilline and James Langevin.